Saudi Arabia’s Agricultural Development Fund has allocated around 296 million riyals ($78.93 million) in loans for 35 private sector projects in agriculture and food imports.
The Agricultural Development Fund said on Tuesday (May 5) that it was allocating 2 billion riyals ($533.3 million) to finance agricultural products as part of the country's food security strategy.
The authority said on its website this week the funds are to provide relief for the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the agricultural sector. The financing package is part of the government’s larger financial and economic support for the private sector across industries.
131 million riyals ($30.13 million) are to be given out as loans to finance 26 projects including growing vegetables in greenhouses and poultry production covering broiler chickens, eggs, and slaughterhouses.
105 million riyals ($28 million) will be channeled to projects involved in importing agricultural products for food security. These include rice, corn and soybeans.
The remaining 60 million riyals ($16 million) will go to financing projects for different agriculture.
Saudi Arabia is a net importer of food, buying around 70% to 80% of its food supply. In 2019 it imported $11.83 billion worth of processed food and agro-based products, up from $11.49 billion in 2018, according to data from the U.N. ITC Trade Map.
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